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December 28, 2006


John Jansen

Earlier this year I first heard the term "the stem cell hustle".

It's a pity the phrase hasn't yet become widespread.


"The stem cell hustle." Yes. We've had that in spades in our area daily newspaper, for the past several months. There are three basic arguments that are used to press the point for embryonic stem cell research:
1. If you oppose it, then you think a little clump of cells has more rights than people with Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, etc.
2. If you oppose stem cell research, you stand in the way of our state university system's ability to attract the best and brightest scientists. We will forever be a provincial backwater.
3. The leftovers from in vitro fertility treatment are going to be discarded anyway so it is just wasteful not to utilize these for medical research.
There is so much erroneous thought here that it is hard to know where to begin to refute it. But it is this last topic that no one wants to touch because everybody knows someone who had children through in-vitro. And yes, children are a blessing no matter how they got here. But unless we think about how very disrespectful this process is to our dignity as human beings, the end is always going to justify the means.

Julia aka MOM

The most important thing I got from her article is that even cloning animals is not working well much less are embryonic stem cells from animals producing any results. Before we get into using human embryonic tissue, shouldn't we wait until it works with animals? What's the big rush?

And the thousands of human ova that were harvested in Korea and still no good results.

I think it's universities that want the grant money. Somehow in our culture corporations are villains but universities are always thought to be pure of heart. What a joke!

Joe Paprocki

Amy, I love your blog and I often recommend it to people. I know that from time to time you have commented on the state of catechesis in our Church. I am deeply concerned about the quality of catechesis and the formation of catechists. To that end, I have begun a blog for catechists called Catechist's Journey (www.catechistsjourney.org). It is designed to give catechists a place to discuss the challenges of serving the Church as a catechist. It gives me a chance to provide professional support for catechists, something that I have been doing for over 25 years and something that my work at Loyola Press allows me to do on a regular basis. I appreciate anything you can do to encourage catechists to visit my blog so that we can focus on the serious challenges facing us as catechists and find the support, insights, and inspiration we need to serve more effectively. Thanks! -joe paprocki

Sandra Miesel

The "stem cell hustle" was used to great effect in the past election. Here in Indiana, my utterly anti-life state rep (who's both an MD and a lawyer) won re-election over a strongly prolife Catholic by cleverly manipulating this very issue. His ads showed sick people and even a sheeted corpse, doomed by forbidding embryonic stem cell research. This individual may be headed for a US Senate run in a few years.

Kevin Jones

"3. The leftovers from in vitro fertility treatment are going to be discarded anyway so it is just wasteful not to utilize these for medical research."

Only about ten percent of those IVF embryos have parental approval to be fodder for research.

And egg donation is risky for the donors, who are also more highly paid by IVF clinics.

For such putative utilitarians, ESCR proponets are very unpractical.

larry davis

beware of such easy formulations.

thelrd in TEXAS

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